If you are truly committed to growing your business online, you will need a content marketing strategy. An important part of any content marketing strategy is maintaining a regular content publishing schedule.
So … what happens to your content publishing schedule if you have to step away for a while?
WordPress has a really neat hidden feature that allows you to postdate and backdate your posts. This is a very useful feature that lots of WordPress bloggers don’t know about. In this tutorial, we will show you how to schedule your posts in WordPress for publishing at a later date.
Publishing new content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive new visitors to your site and keep your blog readers returning for more information.
There may be times, however, when you may not want your content to appear immediately.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want to show a blog post immediately after adding it to your blog:
- You go on a trip but you still want posts to be published on your site regularly while you’re away.
- You would like to remove an already published post and automatically it again at a specific time/date in the future.
- You would like to distribute a daily blog post with the latest news about a certain subject for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You want them to read your posts every day at the same time, but this means that you’d have to get up in the middle of the night to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day every week to create a whole week’s worth of content for your site, or you outsource your content creation to freelancers who deliver you many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You set up a private content membership area and want to “drip-feed” articles to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of content to your site at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your readers so that only one new article gets published each day, or week, or every few days?
You could then implement a “set and forget” system for scheduling and publishing new content to your blog that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and be free to grow other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your article publishing is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date/time in the future to publish your posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content exactly as you have specified.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you a couple of ways to schedule WordPress posts to publish at a later date, and some great tips on article scheduling.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WP blog posts.
How To Schedule WordPress Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can easily alter the date and time of your published blog posts, including specifying dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add blog posts to your WordPress blog, which can then be pre-scheduled to go live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a later date with the Quick Edit function when viewing a list of all your posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing or adding new posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule WP posts using the Quick Edit function,
Log into your WordPress admin area and select Posts > All Posts …
(WP Posts – Add Post)
In the Posts section, find the item you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Section – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit feature expands to display all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Quick Edit Options)
Locate the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” in-line editor screen …
(Date & Time Settings – Quick Edit Area)
WordPress allows you to schedule any aspect of the date and time of your post, simply by changing the values in the fields and selecting options from a drop-down menu …
(Schedule Post date & time)
Useful Tip: You can schedule WP posts in the future or backdate posts to show content as having been published prior to its original date of publication.
This is quite useful if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your day-to-day events and would like your blog posts to match the actual dates you’ve been absent. Another reason to backdate your blog posts would be to give a brand new website a little bit more of an “established” look. Alternatively, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch your site at a future time.
Change the date of your post to whatever date (and/or time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later specified date and time)
Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour system. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the schedule module field. The time your post will actually get published is determined by the location settings set in your Settings > General section.
Remember to click the Update button to save your new changes …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your changes)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts area …
Your post will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Scheduling WordPress Posts When Adding Or Editing Posts
If you are creating a new post, you can schedule your post to publish at a future date and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Publish section – Publish settings)
Edit the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date)
Click on Schedule to update your settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to update your post settings)
Tip: To backdate a post in WordPress, simply edit the date before you click the Publish button, as described above. In this case, the button will not change to Schedule.
Your post is now scheduled for publishing on the date and time you have specified …
(Post schedule message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can also schedule your post to be republished in the future by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …
(Publish section – Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Click on the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
Your post should show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish area …
Your saved post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Posts table – Date column)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, we’ll learn how to republish existing posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WP Post
In some instances, you may want to republish an old post. If you do, there are a few options you can use to do this:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by changing the date and time that the post was published. Enter a future date (and time) and click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will move from its current position in your timeline to the most recent spot on your blog and display the new date and time. The post link will also update to reflect the new publication date.
Note: When you reschedule a post, it will not redistribute to your email subscribers. If you need the post to be redistributed to your email subscribers, use the option below.
Edit Post Status
You can republish your post by changing the status of your post to Draft, clicking Update, and then clicking Publish again …
(Republishing your post)
When you do this, the post will immediately redistribute to your email subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in the timeline will stay unchanged.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your blog, you can just make it “sticky” …
(Sticky post option)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A Post
If you’ve scheduled a WP post to be published later, but then change your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just head back to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your post for publishing:
(Publish section – Edit)
Now, just enter today’s date and time (tip: if you’re not sure of the exact time just type in an hour or two earlier than the current time showing on your clock) as your scheduled post time and click on OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
(Post publish button)
Your post will now publish right away …
(Post publish button – Status: ‘Published’)
Troubleshooting Scheduled Posts
If your scheduled post failed to publish when the scheduled time arrived, check the following:
- Is your timezone set correctly in your Settings > General section?
- Check your Post Status. Did you save your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after editing the date/time settings? For a post to publish, the Schedule button must be clicked.
- Did you schedule too many posts for publishing? Are you using bulk post scheduling plugins to queue up thousands of posts? Depending on your hosting setup, you could experience problems. If so, try lowering the number of scheduled posts and see if this solves the problem.
Automate Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling content in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you place new posts and pages in a queue for publishing later.
When you create a new post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing your post for publishing later …
(Publish Box – Queue Button)
This is great if you are scheduling various posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a certain order, or at certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more details, go here:
Bulk Schedule WP
There are a number of plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post Scheduler Plugin)
Auto Post Scheduler is a free WP plugin that will schedule ‘auto post checks’ to publish new posts and/or recycle old posts automatically.
Use a plugin like Auto Post Scheduler to publish new posts and/or recycle old posts automatically. There’s no need to schedule post times individually and recycling older posts keeps your site looking fresh.
This plugin is especially useful if you are importing a large number of blog posts, as you can set the plugin to publish posts at whatever frequency you choose as well as setting a range of other options …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options screen)
To learn more, visit the plugin’s website: AutoPost Scheduler WordPress Plugin
Although you may not need to use all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot includes a module that allows you to bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site and then set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals at a future time.
(WP Robot – WP Plugin)
For more details about this plugin, go here: WP Robot – WordPress Plugin
If you plan to run a membership-style website, most professional WordPress membership plugins allow you to schedule your content to be ‘drip-fed’ to members at intervals that you specify (e.g. every 7 days, etc.).
To learn more about membership plugins that allow you to schedule content delivery, go here:
Fixing “Missed Schedule” Posts
Sometimes WordPress will miss a scheduled post …
To learn how to fix the missed post scheduling issue, see the tutorial below:
Congratulations, now you know how to schedule posts for publishing in WordPress at a later date.
"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)